cycle, motion and people. our puzzle starts to fit

Today was a mini meeting of minds for the photography collective as we try to get a cohesive strong video piece  ready for 2 weeks time (eek!!)

Developing from our last ideas on the key words, we began to put the different pieces of the puzzle together. The pieces being our photographs, the puzzle our video!

As we progressed with our ideas the theme of cycle became quite pertinent. The cycle of day and night, the cycle of motion, people, flow and characters. These are key characteristics that have begun to emerge in what we’ve shot and how we’ve interacted with this idea of the flaneur. After all the flaneur can be someone who takes continuous images of a split second of a passing cycle and the motion of people.

With 13 flaneurs that The Photography Collective make up, we started to wander can 13 people really be a flaneur when there is already a mass of photography out there, when anyone and everyone is a ‘photographer’ (who doesn’t own a camera anymore?), when cctv acts as the terminator version of a flaneur?

As an out pouring of what we saw and experienced we started to fit this puzzle together. Jo loves a mind map (I prefer lists), so below is the tentative beginnings for the key words and sections of how we are going to fit our puzzle together.

So now we have decided the key elements and themes within our own photographs and the way in which we will piece together the different photographs from our Collective, how do we put it together?

Well that’s where George, our video mastermind, has played a crucial role. As our discussions started to role we found that the flow of people, motion would stitch the different key words together. Going from the cycle of day to night, we could start (or end) with dream before moving on to the different characters that emerged from our experiences, who we happened across and shone like beacons. The guy with a russian looking hat is an obvious one.

Our gaze on those unsuspecting souls also bought about a discussion of privacy, where do our boundaries lie as photographers? What line are we unwilling to cross? Jo pointed out that she feels the streets are open game, but to intrude on some indoors in an establishment is going over her threshold.

For me I have anxieties about that too. I wouldn’t like to photograph anyone indoors or in private spaces without permission.  But then ethically what of the flaneur’s that like to gaze without the camera, that are already in a private state whilst traversing the streets. Am I not invading their privacy or reverie? It’s a fine line but my view is when we all submit so easily to the cctv culture that has consumed our culture and society, why should street photographers be branded or made to feel like they are invading anyones privacy? If the government has no qualms then should I? Indeed if the public have no qualms (I see no mass protests over cctv and invasion of privacy) then what argument could they have of their privacy anyway?

The video and photographs we are producing for the Collectives Encounter is not the end point of this exploration of the flaneur or street photographer but merely the catalyst for further discussion.

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